Federal Lawsuit Challenges Mississippi’s Ban On Marijuana Advertising, Citing Free-Speech RightsPosted by On


“If you can go in Walgreens and fill a prescription for an opioid and Walgreens can advertise, why can’t Tru Source and the other cannabis dispensaries and cultivators in Mississippi?”

By Heather Harrison, Mississippi Free Press

Mississippi’s medical cannabis advertising ban is preventing a small dispensary from attracting customers, Tru Source owner Clarence Cocroft is arguing in a federal lawsuit that casts the law as a violation of his free-speech rights.

Though medical marijuana is now legal for Mississippians with qualifying conditions and a medical cannabis card, state law prohibits dispensary owners and cultivators from advertising cannabis products.

“It’s a daunting task to stay in the industry when you can’t advertise,” Cocroft told the Mississippi Free Press on December 8. “And it’s legal. If they allow you to get licensed, they should allow you to promote your business.”

Cocroft owns Tru Source, the state’s first Black-owned medical cannabis dispensary, located in the southeast industrial zoning area of Olive Branch, Mississippi. Cocroft and his dispensary filed a lawsuit on November 14 against the officials in charge of the regulations at the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Mississippi Department of Revenue and the Mississippi Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau.

To open a medical cannabis shop in the state, a person must apply for a dispensary license, register for a sales tax permit and pay thousands of dollars in fees. A…

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